There was a time when I had a heated argument with my sister and I ended up shouting at her. After that incident, I was so anxious and was relentlessly disturbed by my conscience for I knew I have done wrong. The only remedy that would quiet my conscience and make myself at peace was to ask for forgiveness and correct that wrongdoing.
That experience is like the situation of King Herod in our Gospel today. When King Herod heard about Jesus and His popularity, he was greatly bothered for He thought that it was John the Baptist whom he beheaded. As the gospel narrated, he ordered John the Baptist to be killed because he was so concerned of his honor, and he wanted to please others. King Herod was already being bothered by his conscience because he knew that he did something terribly wrong, and the price that he has to pay for his wrongdoing was the guilt of conscience which was continuously disturbing him.
This is exactly what we feel when we have done something wrong. But then we are always given opportunities to correct our wrongdoings, to admit our fault, and repent. The Lord is at all times ready to embrace us with His mercy and love us in spite of our wickedness. May we always grab these opportunities, whenever we commit mistakes, to be reconciled to those we have sinned against and be reunited with the Lord.
By Sem. Roldan Baliano
THE GOSPEL TODAY
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread,
and people were saying,
“John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Others were saying, “He is Elijah”;
still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.”
But when Herod learned of it, he said,
“It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.”
Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers,
and the leading men of Galilee.
His own daughter came in and performed a dance
that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once on a platter
the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner
with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter
and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.